Several Value Free Agents Still Out There (But Here’s Three)

The first wave of free agency has come and gone, but there are plenty of players left on the market Green Bay should consider. 

General Manager Brian Gutekunst worked fast to address the inside linebacker and offensive tackle positions to start free agency, signing former Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey and former lions tackle Rick Wagner to two-year deals this past Monday, but plenty of value free agents are still on the market should Green Bay look to address other areas of need, namely at pass catcher or the interior of the defensive line. 

After an explosive 2019 free agency, it seems unlikely Gutekunst will break the bank adding any additional players to his roster, but after re-signing tight end Marcedes Lewis to another value contract while still bringing in Kirksey and Wagner to become immediate starters for the team, here are some additional players the Packers could look at the wouldn’t break the bank. 

DL Timmy Jernigan

Defensive line is still a top priority for the Packers before entering the 2020 season. A lot of the bigger names have already left the market, like D.J. Reader, Javon Hargrave, and Michael Pierce, but Timmy Jernigan is another run-stuffing option Green Bay should consider pairing opposite Kenny Clark. Jernigan has only played in 13 games his past two seasons combined, but he’s earned consistently high run defense grades from Pro Football Focus, which is something the Packers need. In 2016 and 2017 (before injuries), Jernigan had a 79.8 and 82.8 from PFF in run defense. If the Packers want him on a limited snap count as a rotational run stuffer, the 27-year-old shouldn’t warrant a lofty contract and still has plenty of juice in the tank to contribute to a defense that’s only missing a few pieces.

WR Taylor Gabriel 

Taylor Gabriel played for the Falcons during Matt LaFleur’s tenure there, so there’s already a familiarity between the wide receiver and head coach. Gabriel found himself as the odd man out on a Bears offense centered around Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller, but he was still able to produce in a limited showing. Gabriel played in nine games for the Bears in 2019, putting up 353 yards and four touchdowns. Of his 29 receptions, 17 of them went for first downs. Additionally, Gabriel had a passer rating when targeted of 110.9 in 2019. A new offense might help him get back to his most productive 2016 campaign (with the Falcons), where PFF gave Gabriel an 85.8 rating overall. That season in Atlanta, he had 579 receiving yards, six touchdowns, and an insane 148.1 passer rating when targeted. The Packers are still in need of a slot receiver, and bringing in another veteran option opposite Davante Adams for Aaron Rodgers would go a long way. It would also take some immediate pressure off a high receiver draft pick. 

TE Eric Ebron

Yes, the Packers did bring back Lewis on another one-year contract, but Ebron would be a long-term option in addition to Jace Sternberger as he develops in his second season in Green Bay. The 6-4 tight end was a first-round draft pick in 2014, but has never fully played up to his high draft selection. Ebron had an impressive 2018 campaign after a change of scenery brought him to the Indianapolis Colts, where he put up 750 yards and 13 touchdowns that season. In 2019, though, Ebron battled through injuries, making only two starts for the Colts. This cut his total yardage cut exactly in half, with Ebron accumulating 375 yards and three touchdowns before ending the season on injured reserve. Even still, as a 26-year-old, Ebron has plenty of upside and athleticism to make a difference for a tight end-needy team. The Packers haven’t had a lot of recent success with free agent tight ends, but they were willing to gamble on an inside linebacker with an injury history. If they do the same at tight end, for the right price, the high reward could outweigh any perceived risks. 

Other low-risk, value free agents left on the market include: WR Tajae Sharpe, TE Delanie Walker, DL Damon Harrison, DL Shelby Harris, and WR Breshad Perriman

 

Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcasts for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (54)

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SterlingSharpe's picture

March 20, 2020 at 06:33 am

Absolutely Mags.

Breshad Perriman needs to be #1 on all lists.
His size & speed alone, from his combine times, would have him ahead of CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and even the fast little guy Henry Ruggs.

And his final month in the actual NFL last December showed that he can produce. He was 3rd in the NFL in receiving yards. Tampa Bay can't keep him though.

He's very talented & very young.

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dobber's picture

March 20, 2020 at 07:05 am

Perriman is a buyer beware kind of guy. Prototypical WR who struggled with nagging injuries and never could do anything with Baltimore, Cleveland or Tampa until Evans and Godwin both got dinged. Arians' pass heavy offense on a team that couldn't run the ball made him look good, IMO, but only when he was the only game in town. Maybe he's turned a corner...would be great if that's true. But has always had the reputation of being a poor technician with inconsistent hands.

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stockholder's picture

March 20, 2020 at 07:17 am

@ 8mil. No Way.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 20, 2020 at 01:55 pm

Big pass on all of the above.

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Guam's picture

March 20, 2020 at 08:07 am

Gabriel would be a better option than Perriman, but I doubt the Packers could afford either one. Given the strength of the draft, upgrades at WR are not coming through free agency.

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dobber's picture

March 20, 2020 at 09:30 am

I would love to see the Packers find a quick, twitchy slot guy, and Gabriel I think will be meaningfully cheaper than Perriman, but given BG's preference for bigger WR, I don't think he'd go this way.

I still think they'll sign a lower-end pass-catcher, either a TE or a WR. A Darren Fells or a Tajae Sharpe type.

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Guam's picture

March 20, 2020 at 09:37 am

I would rather see the remainder of our cap space devoted to an IDL run stuffer. There aren't many of those available through the draft, but we can get WR help in the draft.

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dobber's picture

March 20, 2020 at 09:48 am

Ditto, Guam. I think we've both been calling for DL help from the start.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 20, 2020 at 01:58 pm

Not much left on the shelf. Maybe BG makes a deal with Clay. He fills a pass rush spot with Za and Gary capable of going with their hand on the ground. Looks like he wants to go with a guy from the draft at the DT spot.

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Minniman's picture

March 20, 2020 at 05:06 pm

To that point dobber and Guam, is the best player available in the FA pool a DL? Is gambling on a need FA WR Too risky?

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Thegravedigger's picture

March 21, 2020 at 11:50 pm

7000 thumbs up. Im curious to see how blake martinez does on the giants behind leonard williams, dexter Lawrence and dalvin tomlinson. One hand will wash the other.

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Stroh's picture

March 20, 2020 at 05:28 pm

Speed isn't everything, just ask MVS. He's plenty fast and sucks!

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 20, 2020 at 09:09 pm

Perriman is a 9 game wonder. Richard Rodgers racked up 510 yards in 2015 when Nelson was out, Adams was mostly hurt, and Cobb was hurt and had butterfingers. That made Rodgers the only guy who'd catch the ball. Rodgers was not a good receiving tight end, despite his good hands. Same thing with Perriman: never did anything until he was the only receiver left standing and the ball had to be forced his away.

I'd pass on him at any price over $2M.

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stockholder's picture

March 20, 2020 at 06:43 am

Gute won't sign anybody unless it's The league Minimum. Wilkerson Failed, Graham Failed, Kendricks Failed. ETC. Even his trades failed. He just doesn't have the money to bring in a Leader. This Defense has No General. And the Offense needs Speed. The Game changers, and sure Tackers are gone. The development of his draft picks must step up. Your three, are against my better judgement. Gute just doesn't have the wiggle room.

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MedicMike's picture

March 20, 2020 at 07:17 pm

You’re completely clueless. Graham failed...after a 10 touchdown season.
Wilkerson got hurt.
Kendricks wasn’t Gutey.

Somehow you have forgotten about the Smiths and Amos.
Even Turner is serviceable.

I rarely feel compelled to comment but yours was just too ignorant to pass up.

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stockholder's picture

March 20, 2020 at 08:05 pm

I didn't forget the Smiths etc. Great signings. Which I was campaigning for, before they were signed. The position failures were the point. Why do we still need a TE? Why do the stats say were almost last defending the run. Because the problem was never fixed. Yes Gute tried. I get you and others have blind Love for Gute. Hopefully your light Bulb will go on.

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MedicMike's picture

March 21, 2020 at 10:06 am

You’re making a huge assumption with your “blind love” comment. I pointed to the facts that Gute has done well. Your blind hate dims your bulb

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Gamebug's picture

March 20, 2020 at 07:43 am

Everyday make positive statements about your life. Do them deliberately, make it a habit and watch things change. Write them down and say them out loud. Choose which ones you need for a successful season!

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tincada's picture

March 20, 2020 at 07:46 am

" BG worked fast to address the inside linebacker and offensive tackle positions". Duh? When you cut a couple of vets you have no choice. Can we stop the back slapping? GB is going to be JAFO in the NFC N . No running game, no real team up dates and time to to tell BG bye bye.

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Dzehren's picture

March 20, 2020 at 07:52 am

Focus on the draft to find 3 difference makers.
GB has 12M in cap space. GUTE needs 6M for the draft class and 5M for in season reserves (plus cut lane Taylor).
GB should wait on future cap casualties & focus on the draft for young impact players.

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PatrickGB's picture

March 20, 2020 at 08:18 am

Dze, you nailed it!

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Guam's picture

March 20, 2020 at 08:05 am

Jernigan or Harrison would be welcome additions to our run defense. No thanks to Ebron - less than adequate blocker and mediocre hands. Barring a cut by another team, I think the TE ship has sailed. There was only one good FA TE and the Packers could not afford him.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 20, 2020 at 02:01 pm

Don't they have injury histories?

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Thegravedigger's picture

March 21, 2020 at 11:52 pm

Id take my chances with sternberger and tonyan over montravious and lancaster and lowry.

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4zone's picture

March 20, 2020 at 08:31 am

How bout Tyler Ervin?

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Handsback's picture

March 20, 2020 at 08:34 am

How many times as kids were we told, "No you can't have that it's too expensive"? Well Gutsey is doing the same thing, we spent money last year...so no you can't have that it's too expensive. He's not going to wreck his cap space for FA. He will have to add a run stopper DE/DT before the season starts but by that time there will be more released and maybe cheaper options.

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4zone's picture

March 20, 2020 at 08:39 am

I think We are about done in FA. We have some big contracts coming next year and I think we carry whatever cap space we have left over to next year. I think we can and should get Tyler Ervin resigned then move on to the draft.

We should be able to get 3 immediate impact players in the draft and hope for a hidden gem in the other 7 picks.
I'm looking for DL, WR and either RT or ILB in the first 3 rounds then fill the 4th position in the 4th. Then have at it the rest of the way.

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PeteK's picture

March 20, 2020 at 09:53 am

I agree that we're done and I'm fine with that. I would be very happy with RT- Jackson and WR- Reagor with our first two picks and then take care of ILB and Run stopping DT.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 20, 2020 at 02:56 pm

ESP.

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IrishBoy23's picture

March 20, 2020 at 08:52 am

ms. maggie..totally enjoy UR perspectives...& PACK's what she said is AWESOME ! 4me..BG & complete FO
doing BEST job with resources..exciting times..and also D & D has ALWAYS been the most effective and solid way2 BUILD long-lasting strong team..GoPackers

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Packer_Fan's picture

March 20, 2020 at 09:15 am

I am good with still going after a WR and DL free agents. At team friendly prices. TE? No. Spent too much the past few years.

I don't think the Pack has enough money to make this team better like they did last year. But they are filling holes with starter level players. Albeit with some risk. And doing the same with a DL and WR will fill more holes and a be a move to make the team better. The draft needs before free agency were and still are ILB, WR and OT. Gute has to hit on two or three more starter level rookies like he did last year. Like SF did in their run to the Super Bowl.

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wildbill's picture

March 20, 2020 at 12:36 pm

Agreed on hitting on our draft picks but SF was picking at the top of the draft not 30th, gems are a little easier to find

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Lphill's picture

March 20, 2020 at 09:30 am

Yes that’s the Packers value over impact let’s build the defense with a bunch of un drafted players no reason to sign a playmaker at inside linebacker , we have Oren Burks , no reason to have pursued Kwitnikowski, Shobert , Littleton or Pierce we are fine with giving up 300 yards rushing to no name running backs. Thanks Gute.

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Samson's picture

March 20, 2020 at 09:35 am

Settle down big guy... You'll get your NFL GM position next hiring cycle... Everyone is looking forward to your magic as a GM somewhere in the NFL soon.... LMAO.

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Tarynfor12's picture

March 20, 2020 at 10:13 am

You sound as though you do the hiring for the position. LMAO!

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Lphill's picture

March 20, 2020 at 10:03 am

Gute thinks a defense made up of undrafted players is a great bargin even if they give up 300 yards a game rushing. Other teams in cap hell found ways to make nice signings but not Gute.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 20, 2020 at 10:36 am

Clarke (1st rd) Lowry (4th) Z. Smith (4th) P. Smith (2nd) Burks (3rd) Kirksey (3rd) Alexander (1st) King (2nd) Savage (1st) Amos (5th)
Who are these undrafted players you speak of?
Only Lancaster and TWill were undrafted. They hardly "make up" the defense.

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stockholder's picture

March 20, 2020 at 10:05 am

Gute needs to sign Suh and CM3. Then draft Offense!

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4zone's picture

March 20, 2020 at 10:18 am

If we spend every dollar available to us this off season, you get to pick between Bahk and Clark next off season, if you get either one. Which will it be?

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stockholder's picture

March 20, 2020 at 10:32 am

Clark will get franchised. Bahk will go on his own. Arron jones will accept the Home discount.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 20, 2020 at 02:50 pm

I would extend Bhaktiari, you do not cut loose All Pro LTs. Clark can be franchised for 2021.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 20, 2020 at 09:19 pm

Franchise Bakh. Since he is the best LT in the NFL, paying him the franchise amount which is the average of the top 5 LT contracts by definition means Bakh is underpaid on the franchise tag. 2020 franchise tag for Bakh would be $14.78M. He is going to get $5M to $6M more AAV.

Clark might be worth the franchise tag ($16.12M in 2020), just barely. He is younger and makes more sense to sign long-term for an appropriate amount.

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dobber's picture

March 20, 2020 at 10:40 am

No and no.

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stockholder's picture

March 20, 2020 at 11:29 am

Ok - So you think Bahk is an All-Pro. There an old saying: " its only worth as much as somebody will pay for it". A lot of people are trying to sell a Dt @30. But what happens if Gute takes the OT @30. He then gets to trade Bahk , his demands, his salary, age, for draft picks. ( While he has a chance). I'd take the picks or even make a trade for Redskins' LT Williams. If they plan on keeping Bahk no matter what. They should sign him to an extension this year.

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AgrippaLII's picture

March 20, 2020 at 10:19 am

I think you should be looking at the players who have been cut from their team not free agents that may affect complimentary picks.

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Crazedcamel's picture

March 20, 2020 at 11:01 am

Mike Pennel. Looked good on the Chief’s playoff run, and should be an inexpensive pick up. Bring him back if all else fails. Just spitballing here

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Leatherhead's picture

March 20, 2020 at 12:24 pm

I know a guy who played with Pennel at C State. Said to be dumber than a dogs foot.

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Thegravedigger's picture

March 21, 2020 at 11:58 pm

You dont have to be smart to hold your ground and eat blocks. You have to be big and strong. Like bull.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 22, 2020 at 01:38 pm

They screwed up the Pennel deal last November, then he's off to win a SB with Andy Reid. He was in for a workout after the 49rs shredded Pettine's 236 defense round one. He kicked ass for the Chiefs, helped with the run and put on great pressure in the AFC and the superbowl. "We like our guys" deal again with Gutedkunst; guys like Lancaster, Montravious, Lowry and Keke getting tossed around and stood up.

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Lphill's picture

March 20, 2020 at 11:48 am

Wow I’m getting censured for knocking Gute, you people at CheeseheadTV need to grow up.

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13TimeChamps's picture

March 20, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Probably because:
A. All you bring to the conversation is nonsense, and.....
B. You repeat it ad nauseum.

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mbpacker's picture

March 20, 2020 at 12:42 pm

In Gute We Trust! They do this for a living, 24/7, 365 so I will just sit back and watch. Go Pack! But I love reading everyone's thoughts too. A great diversion during the off -season and the Pandemic.

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CheesyTex's picture

March 20, 2020 at 03:18 pm

Nice job Maggie, as usual.

Would love to have your fix on possible help from within, especially Cole Madison, Yosh Nijman, Eq. St. Brown, and Josh Jackson.

Also fascinated with James Looney's move to TE. With no FB/H-B on the roster he could be a fit there -- no idea how much progress he has shown, but I love the idea of his size and athleticism helping the running game.

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mnbadger's picture

March 21, 2020 at 08:50 am

Can't say I'm fascinated with looney move. Creative but maybe desperate?
There's got to be an actual TE available on the street,
even if it's a practice squad type. At least they'd have college and one year of professional development at the position.

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